Devotion at summit at Mahamastakabhisheka

GRAND EVENT: A panoramic view of the Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony of Bahubali at Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district on Saturday. dh photo/ gOVIND RAJ JAVALI

Passionate cries of ‘Bhagwan Bahubali ki jai’ rented the air atop Ratnagiri in Dharmasthala when the milk poured on the statue of Bahubali by Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade and his wife Hemavathy slowly covered from head to toes, the 39-foot-tall monolithic statue on Saturday.

Nearly five hours after the start of the anointing ceremony, on the eighth day of the Mahamasthakabhisheka, the statue began to change hues, much to the delight of thousands of devotees who had gathered to witness the fourth Mahamasthakabhisheka, organised once in 12 years since 1982.

At the auspicious hour, 8.45 am, Heggade and his family initiated the ‘Jalabhisheka’, with 1008 Kalashas containing water from all sacred rivers. Earlier, kalashas were carried to the venue in a grand procession from the 600-year-old Sri Chandranath swami Basadi. The kalashas also through the forecourt of the Manjunatha temple, where a brief prayer was offered for the success of the ceremony.

Devotees patiently waited for their turn to pour water from kalashas on the statue of from the sixth and fifth floors of a specially erected scaffolding. 

Kalashas were not auctioned as is the convention elsewhere, but sold for Rs 1,001 (Jana Mangala), Rs 5,555 (Divya Kalasha) and Rs 25,000 (Shradda Kalasha). At 12.40 pm, led by Heggade, abhishekas of tender coconut and later ‘Ikshurasabhisheka’ (sugarcane juice) were offered. The colour of the statue, bathed in milk, soon changed to yellow, when it was anointed with turmeric water.

The colour next changed from yellow to purple, with the offering of red sanders extract and then into deep red with ‘Ashtagandha’ abhisheka. The ceremony ended with the poorna kumbha Abhisheka.

A huge garland was offered and ‘aarathi’ was performed.

On Sunday, the ceremony will begin at 8 am. Heggade said due to a huge demand, the anointing ceremony will continue up to March. Hundreds of Jain munis, including Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami of Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt, took part.

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Devotion at summit at Mahamastakabhisheka

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